36 Fragments Of Midnight Review


36 Fragments Of Midnight Review
By Phil Myth

36 Fragments of Midnight has a fairly simple premise. You play as Midnight, a little white block with a couple of eyes and a penchant for double jumping, who has to scour around a 2D, procedurally generated world to find 36 star fragments that his rather menacing looking friends have misplaced. 

The level of course changes each time you play, but you'll always have to avoid buzzsaws, lasers and spikes in order to round up the missing fragments. Visually the game is rather gorgeous, opting for a simple silhouette approach, with moonlight lighting your way. 

The subtle changes in lighting as you climb higher or lower throughout the level help you keep track of which areas you've already explored and where you started from. This turns out to be rather handy as you'll have to bring the fragments back to your friends at the start once you've found them all.

Midnight controls perfectly, gliding along and spinning rather adorably if you catch him on a ledge you're attempting to jump over. Jumping is satisfying too, and you'll need to time those double jumps perfectly if you want to have a successful run. 

For example, there could be a fragment hovering over a row of spikes that will require one jump into the pit to grab it, and another one in mid-air to get back out, lest Midnight perishes. I failed on plenty of runs, but it was always due to a mistimed jump or my own impatience. There's no cheap deaths to be had, and the game is all the more addictive for it.

There isn't really much in the way of puzzles, just runs that need to be timed and executed perfectly to rack up the best time. It is actually possible to cheat a little and throw yourself at a saw or laser to register your time once you've collected all 36 fragments, rather than trek back to the start. This will give you a better personal best, but it's worth trekking back at least once for the amusing reward dialogue. 


It looks just as great in portable mode as it does in docked, and the sound of the wind blowing through adds to the ethereal atmosphere created by the visuals. The addition of a simple piano motif in the background would have set it off nicely, but that's a minor gripe.

36 Fragments of Midnight is the perfect game for a quick run through if you've got five minutes to kill. It's beautiful to look at, incredibly addictive, and at a mere $2.99/£2.99 on the eShop, is an absolute bargain.

For the amount of fun to be had at such a low price, I give it a gold award.


Chicken Wiggle Review


Chicken Wiggle Review
By Phil Myth

Chicken Wiggle is a 2D platformer who's real charm lies not in it's own levels, but in those created by the players themselves. Developed by Atooi – spin off of Mutant Mudds developer Renegade Kid – it sees players take control of the eponymous Chicken the chicken and Wiggle the worm. The buddy duo traverse their way across 48 levels in an attempt to free their bird friends (who presumably forgo eating Wiggle as a reward for his part in their emancipation) after they are captured by a nefarious witch.

They do this by jumping, naturally, pecking at enemies, and using Wiggle as a sort of hookshot to pull Chicken across chasms and up towers. Wiggle can also be used to stun enemies, giving his parter enough time to peck them out of the way. He may get second billing, but Wiggle is the real hero here for my money.

The levels themselves are fairly straightforward, but never get boring. The sheer variety in mechanics, power ups, and puzzles to be solved mean that I was encountering new things right up until the final level. Those power-ups range from giving Chicken the power of flight, to a ghostly ability allowing him to walk through spikes. There's even one that allows him to peck through almost any surface, giving those levels a Steamworld Dig quality to them. All of this meant that whilst the difficulty never really ramped up to be truly challenging, I was never bored because there was always a new idea to be introduced.

If the main game introduces you to the tools available, then the level editor let's you go wild. Unlike Mario Maker, everything is available from the get go, and there's even some items like warp squares that don't even show up in the main campaign. The level size is fixed, and there's no way to zoom out to view the level as a whole, which can make it a little cumbersome to really plan out what it is you want to create. Similarly, there's no real explanation of what each of the tiles does. But once you've experimented a bit and got your head around things, your imagination can run free. 


You can set different criteria for completion too. The caged birds make a return from the main campaign, but you can also set it so that victory is achieved by defeating every enemy, tracking down all the collectibles, or by escorting a little skeleton dude back to his grave. This alone adds a tonne of extra variety to that seen in the main game.

Once you've concocted your level, you can of course upload it for everyone else to try too. Much like Mario Maker, you'll have to beat your level first before you can upload it, but unlike Mario Maker, finding other levels of interest is a doddle. You can search by popularity, name, or creator. You can list levels by the newest to be added or browse those created by Atooi themselves. Once you've beaten them, you can even add a list of favourites. It's a brilliantly robust level editor and means that the game has as long a lifespan as it's fan base wants to give it. 

Presentation wise Chicken Wiggle is incredibly bright and colourful. The levels aren't particularly packed with detail, but there's an impressive depth to their appearance, especially with the 3D slider up. The music is pleasant if not particularly memorable, and the protagonists are incredibly adorable and rather cool. By contrast the enemy design is a little generic, and coupled with the three letters that spell out FUN to be found in each level, gave me some minor flashbacks of those plug-and-play Mario Bros clones your nan used to buy you. But the actual gameplay mechanics are so tight and polished that you can kinda forgive it.

Chicken Wiggle then performs best when taken as a level creator, with a 48 stage tutorial to introduce you to your tool set. The eponymous duo are a truly cool couple of characters, and the sheer variety of platforms, power-ups, spikes, and switches available to you, should keep you playing long after you finish the main game. 

We've given Chicken Wiggle a Silver Award!

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Forma.8 Review


Forma.8 Review
By Gary Gray

Froma.8 is an early 2017 game that is available on all major platforms, but the Nintendo Switch is surely the best home for it! Gameplay lends itself perfectly to the handheld features of Switch, as Forma.8 is best played in short bursts of immersion.

As soon as you start Forma.8 you're greeted with a beautiful cut scene that sets the tone and story perfectly. As a spaceship approaches a planet, the on board computer boots up small sphere shaped droids that get fired towards the planet's surface, upon approach, your character droid crash lands which in effect sets up the start of the game.

Surrounded by the darkness, isolation and earines of planet you’re set to explore, the first room builds the ambient feeling of barren lands that forma.8 has running throughout.

Forma.8 is mainly an exploration based game that has you shifting back and forth between different sections of a beautiful world. Physics are what builds the majority of the controls as your floating probe takes time to accelerate and decelerate, making you think ahead in situations of conflict and confrontation. Further progression through the game sees you upgrading and building an arsenal of new abilities and attacks, from a small quick burst of energy to take out surrounding threats, to a timed bomb that can be propelled away from you.
Everything complies together perfectly for the feeling of emptiness yet sheer beauty that Forma.8 holds, and the controls only add to that feeling. Every small winding cave will have you bumping and scraping walls, where the jaw dropping open Vistas make it well know that you’re a small entity in this huge planet.    


Combat and Puzzles require thought as opposed to just charging in. Approaching a situation carefully will be the result in a greater chance of success, and sometimes you have to make a decision to just run for the sake of survival. Main bosses are incredibly thought out, with clever ways of defeating them, whether it be something to do with the environmental surroundings or assessing their attacks to take advantage of their move set.
Sometimes however the puzzles and bosses difficulty can be a little over cooked, offering a little too much challenge at the tail end of an easier empty section.

Dialogue is none existent, instead dropping you with no instructions on what you’re doing or which direction to head, leaving the visual and audio clues to be the guide you. There's a small minimalist map that lets you know where you’ve been in each area and the exits that you can take without letting you know how to get to them, adding to the exploration.

The stunning graphical style is equally complimented by the atmospheric ambient soundtrack, which really drives home a feeling of loneliness. The music is overlain by the sounds of the wildlife, hazards and other enemies that are scattered throughout the world. While fully emerged in the feeling of emptiness, the HD rumble of the Switch can sometimes break that feeling with its loud Spring like noises breaking the quieter parts of the game, as can the juddery frame rates when entering a new area.

Forma.8 is a fantastic game if you're into the “metroidvania” style games, with its fantastic art style, perfectly fitting soundtrack and a feeling that most exploration games struggle to communicate with the player. Developer Mixed Bag have pulled off a masterpiece of artistic brilliance in a brave venture for its exploration based gameplay that builds strengths from its ambiance and beauty.


Topic Nintendo Podcast 10 (Indie Drought Filler)

Topics - Indies filling droughts
Host Gary Gray is joined by Antonio Guillen from the Switch talk podcast to have a chat about indies, and if they're helping keep the switch afloat! 
(and yes, Well aware of the mistake at the start)

Thank you for listening.


Topic Nintendo Podcast 9 (We Played Mario Odyssey & Indies)

Topic - Insomnia61
Host Gary Gray is joined by his brother Ricky to talk about the gaming show insomnia61! 
We played Mario odyssey, Mario and Rabbids Kingdom battle and Pokken! 

Medieval Steve
Hyper Sentinel
Get me bro!
Rouge trooper
De Mambo
Claws of Furry


League of Evil (Switch Review)

League of Evil - Switch Review

By Gary Gray


League of evil is a port of a 2011 IOS and android game that's a skill based puzzle plat former in which you take control of a bad-ass cyborg agent, who takes orders from a man with a rocking moustache, to try and stop a group of scientists ”the league of evil ” from developing weapons of mass destruction.

But, how do you stop scientists when your a cyborg?
Punch them so hard, it knocks their heads clean off!

And Again,
And Again!
Take that Evil scientists!


Game play

Each Level is a short, fast burst of platforming madness, where the goal is to get to the scientist and show him what for! But along the way you might want to pick up the optional briefcase if you want to 100% the game. The controls are twitchy, simple, and extremely responsive, a jump button, which you can tap twice for a double jump, and an attack button that gives you a mid-air kick if airborne. Jump up against a wall and you’ll grab it and slowly slide down which you can use to your advantage by catapulting yourself off to do wall jumps to reach higher places.

Grunts, Spikes, sensory guns, and other hazards litter the environment. But with each death comes an instant re-spawn and an extra mark on your death counter…... and a few curse words at your switch as the difficulty ramps up.

Incredibly well-designed levels with “out of the way” pickups are a highlight of the overall design; however, everything is made of the same set of components so levels feel like they’re along the same lines and could possibly get stale on long playthroughs.  

If you're the completionist type then there's something for you here, there's a three-star system that rewards you for speed running through the levels, the faster you run, the more stars you’ll get.

Visuals and Audio

Block based simple graphics are easily overlooked, but help you to keep focused on the pure level design without cluttering it up with other distractions, it works in motion, with simple animation to suit the simple look, where it's not going to blow you away, it gets the job done with ease.

The Soundtrack is retro in its glorious form, blending into the game gracefully without stopping for death screens or loading between levels. All the sound effects in game are simple 8-bit sounds, but luckily are quite low in the mix, a mistake averted that most retro inspired games make. The only downside to the soundtrack is that it can get repetitive if you're stuck on a level for too long, as the levels music loops fast.



From the main menu, you are greeted with four options.

Start: where you find the main set of World and Levels, and trust me, there’s tonnes of Levels.

Level Editor: That’s right! A Level Editor! Where you can create missions using the Switches touchscreen or controllers, download missions from the internet by using certain filters, download packs of levels containing 30 missions, or search missions using a unique ID.

Where the Level Editor is a fantastic inclusion, it does come with one or two drawbacks. The first is there no option to name levels or filter searches by creators or tags, instead you limited to filters such as “top levels.” After downloading a mission, you may find it hard to find at first, that’s because rather than being in the options on the level creator, they’re placed in download mission’s folder at the end of the world options in the “start” menu, it’s not a big problem, but one that’s confusing the first time you try to look for those downloaded levels.

Achievements: Self-explanatory, but there’s also the nice addition of user stats in there too!

Options: Does all the usual things such as; sound and music volumes, language, some control configurations, and the option to turn gore and auto replay on and off.



If you're after that quick pick up and play experience with short snappy levels, that ramp up in difficulty, then this may just be for you! Find a good community, and sharing your levels could keep this game being constantly played on your switch for months on end.

With its simple charm and straightforward game play, League of evil could well be the creator's game that Mario maker fans have been missing so far on the switch.


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Topic Nintendo Podcast 6 (Underrated Past And Exciting Future)

Topics - Underrated Games - Switch Future Hardware
Host Gary Gray is joined by Antonio Guillen from the Switch talk podcast to have a chat about underrated games and the future of the switch's hardware. 

Thank you for listening.